Manager Steve Bruce was full of praise for winger Ahmed Elmohamady after the Egyptian inspired Sunderland to victory over Aston Villa.
The on-loan ENPPI star was the driving force at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon as a Richard Dunne own goal decided the Premier League contest.
Elmohamady, who joined Sunderland on a season-long deal in the summer with a view to a permanent deal, limped off in the dying minutes, but Bruce does not think the injury is serious and had been already greatly impressed.
Having managed the likes of forwards Mido and Amr Zaki during his career at Wigan, the Sunderland boss believes his latest Egyptian possesses a different attitude to his compatriots.
"He is different," said Bruce of Elmohamady, who has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester United. "He is a frustration at times, he is a bit naïve, but he has blistering pace and he is fantastic in the air for the size of him.
"He has been a fantastic addition for us, somebody who has taken to it and is enjoying the challenges of playing in the Premier League.
"I can say that the Egyptian players I have had in the past have proved a bit difficult, if that's the right word.
"He is delightful kid, who wants to try and do it right, and he has been very impressive."
Bruce calmed fears over the extent of Elmohamady's injury, which was sustained in a heavy challenge with James Collins, telling Sunderland's official website: "Ahmed should be okay. It looks like it was just a knock."
Former Manchester United centre-back Bruce was pleased with defenders Titus Bramble, Michael Turner, Nedum Onuoha and Phil Bardsley, and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who have helped to conceded just seven league goals.
The likes of John Mensah, Paulo da Silva and shot-stopper Craig Gordon are being forced to make do with places on the bench as a result and Sunderland's manager is delighted with the performances of his rearguard.
"Usually it is the strikers and the midfielders who get all the plaudits," he said. "The defenders have made a really big fist of it from the start of the season.
"It is one area of the pitch where we have invested very heavily. You have got people like Mensah and Da Silva not involved.
"But Bramble and Turner, and Onuoha and Bardsley, who has come out of the cold, and the goalkeeper have done terrifically well."